[January 2017] Forest River will invest $6.7 million in a 450,000 square-foot expansion over 100 acres in LaGrange, Ind. This expansion, consisting of four facilities, will allow the creation of up to 425 new jobs by 2019 and marks another milestone for Indiana’s RV industry, which produces 80 percent of the world’s RVs.
The Elkhart-based RV manufacturer also operates Indiana facilities in Goshen, Millersburg, Topeka, Middlebury and Wakarusa. Renovations are currently underway on three of the facilities, which have sat vacant for more than eight years, and the company plans to evaluate options for the fourth facility late this year. Operations are slated to begin in one facility by mid-January and two more by May 2017, allowing the company to expand production of its Cherokee line of fifth wheel and travel trailers, which is currently backlogged. With this growth, Forest River’s footprint is expanding to cover 12 million square feet across its facilities nationwide.
“As a company that manufactures RVs across the nation, we considered many options before we decided to expand production into LaGrange,” said Mike Stump, director of public relations at Forest River. “As home to the RV Capital of the World, Indiana offers the business climate and skilled labor force we need to quickly increase production of the Cherokee line to meet rising demand. At Forest River, we’re proud to be headquartered in the home of RVs and even more excited for our future of growth here in Indiana.”
As home to the RV Capital of the World, Indiana helped the industry make 397,721 RV shipments in 2016 through the end of November, which is an increase of nearly 15 percent over the same time period in 2015. RV shipments hit their highest level since 1977 in 2016, with shipments projected to rise to top 438,000 in 2017.
Founded in 1996, Forest River is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and one of the largest RV manufactures in the United States, with 37 percent market share of the RV industry’s total sales.
Read the entire press release at IN.gov.